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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | AREA HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Umpires Blew the Call on This One

March 16, 2000|ERIC SONDHEIMER

Here's the oxymoron baseball note of the season:

Reseda High was scheduled to play two games in the L.A. Umpires tournament. When the Regents showed up to play, there were no umpires.

The catchers called balls and strikes. The games didn't count on the Regents' record.

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Rick Hellriegel of Taft, a senior catcher who transferred from Chatsworth, has five home runs in six games. He never played on the Chatsworth varsity and led the junior varsity in hitting last season until declared academically ineligible.

"He's a great talent," said Ron Martinez, Chatsworth junior varsity coach.

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An MRI taken Monday by pitcher Jamie Shields of Hart was negative, according to Coach Jim Ozella.

Shields has been inactive for more than two weeks because of pain in his lower back. The injury is believed to be a pulled muscle but has not responded to therapy.

"I want to see who wants him back faster than me," Ozella said. "It's been a trying time for him. He wants to be out there. He's a competitor."

Shields led Hart to the Southern Section Division II championship last season.

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